Many people claim that genetics is the main factor that determines a person’s life expectancy. This means that you will live a long time if your ancestors were long-livers. This is not an absolutely incorrect statement. But it is also impossible to fully agree with it. The fact is that genetics determines the length of your life only by a quarter. Everything depends on you. Yes, it is up to you.
If you want to live a very long and healthy life, then you should definitely think about what kind of lifestyle you lead. Undoubtedly, proper nutrition, constant physical activity, lack of bad habits, and a positive approach to life will help you replenish the number of centenarians. However, if your lifestyle is absolutely the opposite, then you should think about what this is related to. This way you can change your life and extend it for several decades.
However, there are a few secrets that will also help you extend your life. The most important thing is to understand and observe them. Do you want to know what it is about? Then continue reading the article.
Genetics only determines the length of our lives by a quarter. This means that by our actions we can make our life long and happy by performing certain actions. Activity, proper nutrition, and an optimistic attitude are probably the most universal ways to live longer. But it seems that many people underestimate the effectiveness of these principles, if they neglect them throughout their lives. And not always a healthy lifestyle is a panacea for early old age. It can help you live to 80-85 years, and not change a hundred. What secrets do centenarians have, and what should they do from their youth to live a long time? Let’s figure it out.
Setting up health or a healthy mindset?
Numerous interviews with centenarians show us that a far from healthy lifestyle helped them live for more than 100 years. Among those who have lived for more than a century, there are many lovers of bacon, alcohol and cigarettes. This does not mean that you should neglect the harm of fatty foods and tobacco in order to live long. The impact of these things on health has not been canceled. If we want to live many years, we probably mean that these will be good, happy years. And poor health primarily affects our satisfaction with life. But you should not limit yourself to proper nutrition.
French woman Jeanne Calman, who officially lived the longest life of all women on the planet (122 years), said that her passion is wine and chocolate. American Geralyn Tully (115 years old) spoke about her great love for doughnuts and fatty foods. Many male centenarians also shared their love of” bad ” food and alcohol. For example, Gustav Gernet, a 112-year-old German, never exercised or dieted. Batuli Lamichane from Nepal, who is also 112, still smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. Briton Jack Reynolds, who is 105, adds whiskey to his morning coffee every day. His compatriot, Agnes Fenton (110), also drinks whiskey every day. This list can be continued indefinitely.
Another conclusion reached by people who have lived for more than a hundred years is that it is important to feel good. That is, it is the inner mood, a positive attitude to life-that’s the secret of long years of walking around the world. Those who wash down bacon with gin and tonic at the age of 100 are easier to live with, and know a lot about optimism. We, knowing this, have the opportunity to combine good health and a cheerful disposition.
Laughter prolongs life
Almost everyone has heard this saying. It is so popular for a reason. Over the past 50 years, scientists have paid special attention to the study of the effect of laughter on our condition, well-being and health in General. From the point of view of science, this fact is understandable and true. The fact is that during laughter, the pulse quickens by 10%, some muscles contract, in addition, laughter secretes endorphin (“joy hormone”), which has a strong strengthening effect on the entire body.
An important factor is that laughter helps you survive difficult situations. Therefore, those who are prone to irony and optimism are easier to pass tests than pessimistic and serious people. Because of this, our nervous system suffers much less, and the risk of psychosomatic diseases is minimized.
What do scientists say about centenarians
Since the desire for eternal life is a question that has not left the minds of people of all times, it is not surprising that scientists have paid so much attention to it. Many researchers have devoted their work to studying the way of life of people who have lived in good health and sanity for more than 100 years. Some of their conclusions are presented below.
Unfortunately, such a luxury as good ecology is not available to everyone. But it was the cause of a large concentration of centenarians in a certain area of the globe. Scientists call them “blue zones”.
As part of the National Geographic project, American journalist Dan Buettner went to study these zones. Later, he published the book “rules of longevity” with the results of his research.
Places of the Earth, which is home to many centenarians:
- the island of Okinawa in Japan;
- Loma Linda Seventh-day Adventist community in California;
- Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
The average life expectancy here is 80-90 years, as well as many people who are over 110 years old! It is interesting that not only ecology, but also the local philosophy of life influenced such indicators. You can read about one of these phenomena in the article:
Measure in food, and in everything
Despite the curious exceptions we discussed above, centenarians are usually distinguished by their moderation in food. There are no specific restrictions, the main thing is a balanced diet, where grains and leguminous vegetables predominate, but dairy products and meat are not necessarily excluded. What really unites the residents of the “blue zones” is the love of nuts (they are rich in antioxidants, as in the next paragraph).
The Japanese, for example, follow the rule that the stomach must be filled to 80%. They believe that this is the healthiest portion for a person, and put down a spoon as soon as the first signs of a feeling of satiety appear.
Antioxidants are substances that neutralize the oxidative effect of free radicals, promote healthy cell division, and prevent early cell aging. Foods rich in antioxidants are an excellent cancer prevention. Therefore, it is not surprising that centenarians from all over the world share a love for products that have these substances, namely:
- green tea;
- fresh berries and fruits, especially sour ones;
- red wine.
There are studies that show that centenarians are United by a love of foods rich in lactic acid: sauerkraut, curdled milk, yogurt,black bread with sourdough.
Secret of the Royal family
The doctor of the British Royal family, Mosaraf Ali, is a doctor of medicine, and he is serious about the principle of Ayurveda regarding nutrition, which is based on the doctrine of doshas.
Ayurveda describes which foods should be avoided in each of the doshas, and which should be preferred. At the same time, Ali does not use the Eastern term, so as not to scare away Westerners who are far from Eastern philosophy. Mosaraf Ali emphasizes that the basic principles of individual nutrition selection according to doshas are also used in the Western world. A more familiar word is the “Constitution” of man.
A little trite, but how effective! “Movement is life!”–- another saying familiar to everyone. In his study, Dan Buettner notes that the “blue zones” are located mainly in rural areas, where residents spend a lot of time outdoors and in active walks.
Of course, it is difficult to talk about any sport or even exercise at the age of 100, but walking is a great way to maintain good health.
We have already touched a little on the topic of ikigai, the Japanese philosophy of the meaning of life. So, ikigai is an analogue of our Logotherapy, which is often contrasted with psychoanalysis because of its rapid effectiveness. This method is the reason that makes you get up in the morning. Having found the goal of a lifetime, Japanese people remain active and happy throughout their long lives. But not only the Japanese came to this. Residents of another” blue zone ” – Costa Rica-also talk about the goal of all life, but they call it plan de la vida (“life plan”).
Social connections bring people the most happiness. According to statistics, long-livers are those who have a strong, large and friendly family. People feed us, support us, and often fill our lives with meaning. It is interesting that communication with grandchildren supports older people and makes them more active.
Kelly Campbell, Professor of psychology at the University of California, believes that the tendency of society to individualism is harmful to our health and mental well – being. In her opinion, to be happy, relationships need to be strengthened and developed, not destroyed. Also, according to a study by American scientists, people who live near children live about 12-15 years longer than those who live alone.